The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy, 1921-1922

The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy, 1921-1922

The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy, 1921-1922

The Genoa Conference: European Diplomacy, 1921-1922

Excerpt

At Mars Hill College in October 1975, historians from the United States and Europe gathered at a conference organized by Dean David Knisley. Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Locarno treaties, the meeting's purpose was to investigate the "Era of Locarno," from the Paris peace treaties to the first major steps toward their revision. In addition to the captured German documents, which for over two decades had supplied the basis for many important works on European diplomacy in the 1920s, scholars were now able to consult Austrian, Belgian, British, French, Italian, and League of Nations archives, the files of the United States and Canadian governments, a growing number of private papers, and an increasing quantity of printed official literature. The Mars Hill conference represented a unique forum for sharing archival information and creating international friendships of great value. In papers, articles, and books based on a broad, multinational perspective, its participants have reinterpreted the history of Europe during the ostensibly peaceful years between the end of World War I and the onset of the depression and of Hitler.

At Mars Hill I read my first paper on the Genoa Conference, comparing the handling of the European security problem in 1922 and 1925. The original suggestion to study Genoa came from Hans W. Gatzke, the foremost authority on German-Soviet relations in the 1920s and on Weimar Germany's leading statesman, Gustav Stresemann. Except for the brief and partisan contemporary accounts of the Genoa Conference by John Saxon Mills and Jean de Pierrefeu, there have been no full-length critical studies for the following reasons. First, historians have had difficulty until recently in obtaining the necessary archival sources, and second, Genoa was a failure. Though a number of historians have done research into its most spectacular subsidiary event, the Rapallo treaty, and though there have been good critical studies of the individual statesmen and nations that attended the conference, up to now no scholar has been able or willing to investigate this important event of 1922 in its entirety.

This work follows and has been inspired not only by the Mars Hill gathering but also by several distinguished studies of the interwar period. In Locarno Diplomacy, Jon Jacobson analyzed European diplomacy from a multinational perspective and discussed the enduring strains between Germany and the West; in Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking, Arno Mayer investigated the im-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.